School Corporal Punishment and a Stiff Upper Lip

Who did not manage to keep a stiff upper lip when punished


I was genuinely scared when I knew I was to receive a caning or a slippering. I have seen boys waiting outside the headmaster’s study facing a caning looking frightened but trying to put a brave face on it. I remember once missing a prefect’s detention only realising on the bus home that I had forgotten. I spent a very uncomfortable evening knowing that 3 strokes of the cane awaited me the next day. I tried to be brave but knowing your backside will be decorated with 3 wheals which will leave a bruise was not funny.


I didn’t at primary school when encountering Miss B’s hard hand vigorously applied multiple times to the bare upper thigh for the first time.  And nor did several other boys and girls in the queue with me, even though some of them were from her class a year above mine and were veterans of the process!

But by the time I got my sole slippering it didn’t even hurt. I was concerned only with the disgrace of being called out from the back row where the goody-goodies and swots sat to join the queue of lesser mortals waiting to be whacked.  I can still see all those faces looking at me when it came to my turn to bend over that front row desk.  But the upper lip remained comparatively rigid throughout.

Then at secondary school in my first year the muscular young form master’s weapon of choice was a size 12 leather-soled sandal.  Even tough boys shed tears when beaten with that.  All except for one who on his first encounter with slipper remained completely composed, observing afterward that you don’t even notice that thing when you’d had six of the best on the bare with the cane.  He had, multiple times, at a rather seedy boarding prep school.

Fortunately my only potential encounter with the sandal ended before there was any serious loss of control of the upper lip.  Bent over touching my toes at the front of the class awaiting the pain I was abruptly told to go and sit down, reason unknown to this day.  Not surprisingly I didn’t challenge the decision!

But control of the upper lip, and indeed of the knees knocking in my short trousers, was seriously imperiled on my one and only appearance before the Prefects’ Court.  I knew the prefects could cane, but the sight of the first real and very large and vicious looking crook handled school cane I’d seen, which lay on the court table as a symbol of their authority, put both upper lip and knees into overdrive.  Fortunately I only got lines.


I bet in some cases it wasn’t only the upper lip that was stiff, especially if a pretty lady teacher was the wielder of the instrument of pain!

I deeply regret that there are contributions here from degenerates who admit that as teenage schoolboys they attempted to incite attractive young lady teachers to beat them on the bottom with a variety of punitive implements.  Cases involving slippers and a strap come particularly to mind.

In one case the young woman involved was straight out of teacher training college, an innocent soul who could have  had no concept of the depths of depravity of which teenage boys are capable.  In another the teacher was a little older and more experienced in the ways of the world, but was a language teacher from an alien culture not steeped in the traditions of corporal punishment prevalent in England.  You seldom find the knout deployed in UK schools.

In both cases the depths of iniquity to which these contributors had sunk in their youth was not bounded by simply corrupting the unfortunate lady teachers.  They freely admitted to rejoicing in the fact that the young women themselves came to clearly enjoy the process of requiring young males to bend over and then flagellating their bottoms.

I would link the contributions concerned, but, remembering my own shock and horror  on reading those dreadful revelations, I have no desire to inflict similar trauma on our current readership.  I am certain that, like me, they will scarcely be able to comprehend that such things might happen in an English school, let alone that those responsible would ever willingly publicly admit to them.  My very sincere apologies to any of our readers who have found this most difficult of topics distressing.